Consultant gives keynote speech in USA on research conducted at Bedford Hospital

Professor Robert Thomas.
Professor Robert Thomas.

A medic from Bedford Hospital has returned from California after giving an opening keynote speech at one of the USA’s largest nutritional conferences.

Professor Robert Thomas, a Consultant Oncologist, was invited to speak about the world-renowned research studies that were designed and conducted at Bedford Hospital and partly funded by the people of Bedford.

The Scripps Medical Centre Natural Supplements conference in San Diego attracted leading experts and best-selling authors from all over the USA, who reported the latest studies on nutrition and health.

The main attraction was the final results of the Pomi-T study which is due to be published as a peer reviewed paper this month. The conference organisers hailed the research as the largest and most significant scientific study of a polyphenol rich food supplement involving patients with cancer.

Professor Thomas said: “This was a big honour for our research unit and a fantastic reflection on the calibre and significance of our research not only for our patients but on the world stage.”

In a further talk in the conference, Professor Thomas explained how the trial was designed in partnership with the National Cancer Research Institute and partially funded by the Charity Prostate Action – the rest coming from generous donations from the people of Bedford.

He said: “The audience were flabbergasted by how cost-effectively we were able to run such a study which would have cost 50 times more in the USA.”

The main reason for this is that the research unit infrastructure is supported by the hospital and the extra cost for conducting each trial comes from local donations – every penny of which goes directly to funding the research, unlike many of the major charities which have large overheads.

The unit now has a series of lifestyle, nutrition and cancer studies in the pipeline, with one of them to be linked with a major cancer prevention programme at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

Professor Thomas added: “We now need more money to support these trials but it will be money well spent and will result in direct patient benefits”

In his quest to raise money for the trials unit he has even managed to persuade his son, James, to join the team of volunteers running the London Marathon to raise money for the unit.

You can sponsor James Thomas at